As much as we’d all like to deny it, winter is just around the corner. There are too many things to bemoan about the impending cold weather to count on one hand, but at the top of our list, is the fact that it’s time to put away the motorcycle for another season.
To ensure that your bike is in tip-top read-to-drive condition come the first snow melt, follow these tips for proper winter motorcycle storage!
1. Take It For a Spin
Before putting it away for the next few months, take that baby out for one more ride. It will give you a chance to say goodbye, and also burn off any condensation in the engine while also heating up the oil, making it easier to remove by-products when you change your oil.
2. Fill It Up and Change the Oil
While you’re taking your final victory lap, be sure to fill the tank up with gas and add a gasoline stabilizer to keep it from partially evaporating, filling up your carburetors with gunk and sludge. This is also a good time to complete your seasonal oil change.
3. Cover Intake/Exhaust Pipes
Once your exhaust pipes have cooled down, you’ll want to cover their tips with a plastic bag or tarp. This will guarantee that no moisture or condensation sneaks into the engine making it difficult to start up in the spring.
4. Remove the Battery
Your bike doesn’t need a battery when you’re not riding it, so remove it from your bike and keep it charged during the winter. Otherwise, there’s a good chance it will freeze and go dead. You also might want to give your battery a basic bath with warm soapy water (make sure to dry it off after!) and check for leaking battery acid.
5. Wash and Wax
Even if you’ve recently cleaned your bike, there’s probably a bit of dust and dirt build-up, or even salt stains if you’re running a bit late on the winter storage front. If you leave this sit for even a few months, you could permanently damage your paint job. Give it a very thorough cleaning, and then be sure to dry it completely because condensation can have an equally damaging effect. Following this, give it a proper wax job so that it will stay lustrous and clean over the winter.
6. Lock It and Cover It
Most importantly, make sure your bike is locked up and secure. Once you’re certain it’s completely protected from hotwire experts and thieves, cover it up nice and cozy for its winter hibernation in storage.